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The evolution of a key character, or how to evolve a slipper lobster

Abstract : A new fossil lobster from the Cretaceous of Lebanon, Charbelicaris maronites gen. et sp. nov., is presented here, while the former species ‘Cancrinos’ libanensis is re-described as Paracancrinos libanensis comb. nov. P. libanensis is shown to be closer related to the contemporary slipper lobsters than to Cancrinos claviger (lithographic limestones, Jurassic, southern Germany). A finely-graded evolutionary scenario for the slipper-lobster morphotype is reconstructed based on these fossil species and extant forms. The evolutionary changes that gave rise to the current plate-like antennae of Scyllaridae, a key apomorphy of this group, are traced back through time. The antenna of what is considered the oldest slipper lobster became petaloid and consisted of about 20 fully articulated elements. For this group the name Scyllarida sensu lato tax. nov. is introduced. In a next evolutionary step, the proximal articles became conjoined and a lateral extension appeared on peduncle element 3. The entire distal petaloid region is conjoined already at the node of Verscyllarida tax. nov. In modern slipper lobsters, Neoscyllarida tax nov., the distal region is no longer petaloid in shape but asymmetrical. The study also emphasizes that exceptionally preserved fossils need to be documented with optimal documentation techniques to obtain all available information
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Joachim T. Haug, Denis Audo, Sylvain Charbonnier, Ferran Palero, Gilles Petit, et al.. The evolution of a key character, or how to evolve a slipper lobster. Arthropod Structure and Development, Elsevier, 2016, 45 (2), pp.97-107. ⟨10.1016/j.asd.2015.08.003⟩. ⟨hal-01191654⟩

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